Ohhh, referee!!! (Football)

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Ohhh, referee!!! (Football)

Postby Dave » Thu 24 Jul 2003 18:42

Earlier this evening I saw Birmingham City lose 2-1 to Newcastle United in the FA Premier League Asia Cup.

Newcastle's first goal was a bit controversial, not because the referee awarded a penalty (it clearly was) but because he sent off Birmingham's Kenny Cunningham. We assumed this was for a foul when the Newcastle player had a clear run on goal with only one player to beat - which was debatable, to say the least, since there were several other Birmingham defenders rushing in, the Newcastle player hadn't got the ball fully under control, and he was moving forward but towards the touchline rather than towards goal.

However, that's by the by (although I'm still seething a bit). The point which Kay and I were wondering about afterwards related to the protests from the Birmingham players (and, to their credit, the Newcastle players too) about the red card. Supposing they had managed to convince the ref that he had been over-harsh; would he have been able to rescind his decision? And at what point would he stop being able to do so?

My guess is that he'd be able to change his mind only up until play was resumed. But perhaps not - maybe once the name goes in the book, that's it. I've never been clear on that particular point.

If there are any qualified refs out there, I'd be interested to hear what the truth is...

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Postby bertie_wooster » Thu 24 Jul 2003 21:53

Well, I'm certainly not a qualified ref and my guess is as good as yours.
But, I'm fairly certain that once the ref books the player, that's it. Maybe if he made a mistake when he held up a card, he could quickly get it right. But if he intended to red card the bloke....once that card goes down and he starts writing in the book, that's all she wrote.

Again, a mistake could probably be quickly fixed. But if he intended to toss the guy, there is no way that he could allow the protests of players and fans to change his mind. It would open up a huge mess in the sport....even if the players were correct. The ref's decisions have to maintain absolute finality. I know it hurt sometimes, but imagine if this were not the case....every booking made would be violently argued and the ref would lose his authority....which would lead to him feeling unsafe.

Sort of like in certain Latin American countries......
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Postby Rich » Fri 25 Jul 2003 09:12

My understanding is that once he has started to write in the book, that's it, unless in extenuating circumstances, and then only after consultation with a ref's assistant (linesman). Even then the ref can overule his assistant.

Whilst it won't help in the game, the Ref is then at liberty to review the decisions himself before he submits his official report (not sure for friendlies). If he says in this he has made a mistake/carded the wrong person, then the card is cancelled there and then.

Ref's do change there mind sometimes after pressure (Liverpool v Roma in the Uefa a couple of years back changed form a Roma penalty to a corner), but it happens rarely, and for cards it's virtually never.

One thing I do hate is when all these people surround the ref/Asst, push him about and argue about a decision. It's not clever, and changes happen so rarely you wonder why they bother. Most of the time, it's just protestors who get booked. I'd like to see the ref everybody who protests (when there 6/7 who rush around, there's rarely more than 1/2 cards), and after a few have been sent off for over protesting, they should learn the lesson. The original decision may have been wrong, but the Ref's decision - rightly or wrongly - is final. That's football. Live with it

And your corrcet in saying about Sth American, certain Asian and parts of Africa that the ref is anthing but safe..
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Postby Mike » Fri 25 Jul 2003 12:36

Is it about rules, or saving face?

I doubt a ref would change his mind as a point of principle. Even if he realised he was wrong, he would stick with it to preserve his authority.

They shoot them in Uraguay, don't they?

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Postby HesitationKills » Fri 25 Jul 2003 18:30

Aaargh , football....I sense the season is nigh... 8) its been a long summer
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